Company Tip: Win With Certification - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Company Tip: Win With Certification

I heard some recent comments on certification that stopped me cold. In essence, credentialing has no sales value to the company. It’s a wonderful individual achievement and that’s it. And, unless PLANET gets consumers to demand certification it will never truly garner ROI (return on investment).

I’ve heard these statements before and, unfortunately, we often forget that we’re the solution. They underscore the importance that certification must be embraced at the owner-manager level, encouraged, and incorporated into business plans, in-house training, and promoted in all company communications and advertising.

Certification is an individual honor and it’s a savvy CEO that turns the qualifications of his or her team into successful sales goals. Education and certification of your crew can help boost a company’s profits and bottom line only if promoted. Not to mention boost team morale and longevity in the process.

Do you highlight your crew’s credentials on business cards, website, advertising campaigns, and customer newsletters, just to name a few obvious places? Until we all communicate that our teams are certified will we recognize sales value to the company.


I live and breathe the quality and value of our certification programs, particularly in my volunteer role as chair of PLANET’s International Certification Council (ICC). I achieved my Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician status several years back. I believe in certification so much that I’ve dedicated countless hours as Technician-Exterior exam volunteer in Ohio and auditor for the ICC’s Authorization Panel.

I’m not alone. Certified individuals tend to become passionate about their achievement. Even those that don’t see the sales value to the company or the ROI unless consumers demand it. Talk is cheap. Action is essential. Take action by including certification in our everyday business operations, marketing and communications.

As Landscape Industry Certified individuals, we all have a toolkit to help us promote our credential – as individuals and at the company level. When was the last time you opened your certification toolkit and used the samples, templates, ideas and more to make certification a revenue generator?

Not all customers are demanding or asking about certification of our crews now but they will be if we start telling them about how we commit to having the technicians and managers at our companies certified. And, why it’s important to hire certified pros to take care of their property.

By the way, the new website is driving consumers to hire Landscape Industry Certified. Suggest we share this link with our customers and add it to our websites.

Let’s follow this example in our company promotions.

Certification is one of those items in your toolbox that can really propel your company to the next level and beyond. Once certification was achieved, we marketed it throughout all of our advertising and company info. We would specifically use phrases like:

ü  You would not go to court without a certified lawyer;

ü  You would not send your kids to a school without certified teachers; and

ü  You would not go into surgery without a board certified surgeon.

Why would you trust one of your most expensive investments (i.e., your home) to anyone other than a certified landscaper?—Richard D. Arlington, III, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Arlington Lawncare & Landscape, Inc., Erie, Pa.

Are you ready to really make certification your company’s competitive slam dunk? Take up the certification challenge now. Get certified, get your staff certified, and promote your achievement all the way to the bank.

Contact PLANET at 800-395-2522 or email to get started.

David Hupman, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician

BRICKMAN – Great Lakes Division, Blue Ash, Ohio

Chair, International Certification Council